A Portland woman quit her job after attending her company Christmas party only to be horrified when coworkers tied up a Donald Trump pinata and beat the breaks off of it until all the candy fell out. Sarah Mykkanen spoke out about the incident and likened it to lynching. Horrified by her drunken coworkers at the party, Sarah says she immediately left the party and alerted her boss that she was quitting.
Willamette Week shared the unusual Christmas story and an essay that Mykkanen wrote to explain how the beating of a pinata made her feel. Despite the overwhelming popularity of the Donald Trump pinata, especially among Hispanic populations, she still feels that tying a rope around the pinata and stringing it up in a lynching style was nothing more than the scary lynching of an effigy. Mykkanen described the incident in great detail and claims that it affected her so badly that she just can’t work for the company anymore.
“In horror I watched as they strung a thick rope over a beam, with a noose tightly tied on one end. They held up the effigy of Trump, and put the noose around his neck.”
Mykkanen described a room full of white coworkers “became a lynch mob” as they chanted, “Lynch him! Lynch the b***h!”
She described how the crowd got rowdy at the sight of the Donald Trump pinata and likened their antics to that of an angry mob. She said that two coworkers came up with a metal baseball bat that they used to strike the Trump pinata. Though she said the group decided to skip using something to cover their eyes and didn’t follow traditional pinata rules by moving the pinata to make it harder to hit.
Instead, coworkers took turns taking aimed shots at the Donald Trump effigy while the other coworkers screamed and cheered. She said someone hit the pinata right in the groin after someone else yelled, “Hit him in the p***y!”
“Standing in that crowd was one of the most terrifying moments of my life, and something I never thought I would experience in this country. I was getting flashes from history; saw my coworkers with pointy white hats and robes, as they gutturally and repeatedly chanted, ‘Lynch him!’”
The company Christmas party was combined for three Portland restaurants owned by the same group. Roscoe’s, Stein Haus, and Miyamoto Sushi employees all came together just days ago to celebrate the holidays, as many restaurant staffs often do.
— ニコラス・エドワーズ (@nyk_staff) September 22, 2016
After Sarah Mykkanen gave her resignation and told her story, Roscoe’s owner Jeremy Lewis spoke out in defense of her coworkers and the party itself. He explained that the Donald Trump pinata was purchased and brought to the party by an employee. It wasn’t a company sponsored “lynching” but taking down the Trump pinata was supposed to have been done in fun.
While Mikkanen said she didn’t stick around long enough to see what was inside the pinata, Lewis said that it was just chocolate candies and chocolate alcohol candies. He also said that the group of restaurant staff was pretty diverse, a far cry from her claims that it was an all-white group that strung up the Trump pinata like and old time lynching.
— Aware & Uncompliant (@RoadbikeRon) December 18, 2016
“I understand it had an effect on her and I don’t want to diminish that, but at the same time, it was a piñata, and you hit it,” Lewis told Willamette Week. “People had been drinking. I can’t attest to what everyone was saying, but I didn’t hear anyone say anything about lynching and the vibe was certainly not pro-lynching.”
For what it’s worth, in the third video, which you can watch, but be warned it may be NSFW, you can hear someone from the group say “Lynch him” and someone else said to “hit him in the p***y.” That said, it wasn’t an angry mob chanting in a rage.
Mikkanen said that she was not a Trump supporter so the beating of a Donald Trump pinata had nothing to do with politics. She also pointed out that she wasn’t a Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders supporter either. Instead, she likened the beating of a Trump pinata to the lynching and beating of an effigy and something she found deeply disturbing. Despite Lewis’ attempts to get Mikkanen to keep her restaurant job, he says that he believes she won’t be continuing with the company
[Featured Image by Gregory Bull/AP Images]